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Mars Space

The Strangeness of the Mars One Project 246

superboj sends an article written after its author investigated the Mars One Project for over a year. Even though 200,000 people have (supposedly) signed up as potential volunteers on a one-way trip to Mars, there are still frightfully few details about how the mission will be accomplished. From the article: [Astronaut Chris Hadfield] says that Mars One fails at even the most basic starting point of any manned space mission: If there are no specifications for the craft that will carry the crew, if you don’t know the very dimensions of the capsule they will be traveling in, you can’t begin to select the people who will be living and working inside of it. "I really counsel every single one of the people who is interested in Mars One, whenever they ask me about it, to start asking the hard questions now. I want to see the technical specifications of the vehicle that is orbiting Earth. I want to know: How does a space suit on Mars work? Show me how it is pressurized, and how it is cooled. What’s the glove design? None of that stuff can be bought off the rack. It does not exist. You can’t just go to SpaceMart and buy those things." The author concludes that the Mars One Project is "...at best, an amazingly hubristic fantasy: an absolute faith in the free market, in technology, in the media, in money, to be able to somehow, magically, do what thousands of highly qualified people in government agencies have so far not yet been able to do over decades of diligently trying, making slow headway through individually hard-won breakthroughs, working in relative anonymity pursuing their life’s work."
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The Strangeness of the Mars One Project

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  • It's a scam (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 10, 2014 @08:13PM (#48355969)

    The minute they said there was an application fee it should have been obvious.

    That, plus the tiny size of the team, the handwaving away of all technical problems to subcontractors, and the bizarre funding ideas, should have warned people off long ago. Sadly the regular newsmedia, in their admirable efforts to publish fun and interesting science storise, were duped.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Sadly, Space Nutters are adept at duping themselves. They think because they're intelligent in one domain, typically software, that their intelligence transfers to all scientific and engineering disciplines.

      The romantic, grandiose visions of the Space Age Priests

      http://www.theatlantic.com/tec... [theatlantic.com]

      combined with the NASA propaganda (and Russians too, obviously) has resulted in entire generations stunted by ridiculous notions about space.

      Space is hugely empty and deadly. This planet is where we are and where we

      • Re:It's a scam (Score:5, Interesting)

        by ChuckDivine ( 221595 ) * <charles.j.divine@gmail.com> on Monday November 10, 2014 @09:17PM (#48356301) Homepage

        Anonymous Coward,

        There is much truth in what you write. I got involved in this crowd back in the 1970s after reading Gerard K. O'Neill's The High Frontier: Human Colonies in Space. It was a thought provoking, impressive book. My involvement, though, was moderate and independent. While, at the beginning of my interest, I wanted to get to L5 by 95, I eventually realized that it would not be L5 by 1995 but more like L5 by 2495. O'Neill made significant proposals that appealed to me. Instead of adventure trips to the Moon or Mars, he -- and others -- proposed doing things like building space based solar power satellites to benefit humans on Earth. They are still in the future, but could come about in the future. There are many problems to solve, though.

        Sending people to Mars? Let's see. Mars does not have a geomagnetic sphere to protect it from solar outbursts. People will die if they are on the surface when one of those things happens Martian atmosphere is very thin. At ground level atmospheric pressure is only 1% of Earth. That is not nearly enough. Martian gravity is less than half of Earth's. Is that enough? We shall have to experiment.

        There is one place on Earth that explorers have explored since we have had written records -- Antarctica. It wasn't even discovered until 1820. The first expedition to Antarctica was the Scott expedition a century ago. We started building bases there after World War 2. Quite a few humans have now lived there -- at least for a short time. Same gravity, same atmosphere, same geomagnetic sphere. Just much colder.

        The optimist in me thinks we humans will, eventually, live and work in places other than Earth. It is going to take a good bit of learning, though.

        Enough for now.

        • I guess my position is, you have to start somewhere, and you can't reasonably expect the first try to succeed.

        • by putaro ( 235078 )

          There's one barrier in front of space exploration - high launch costs. Everything else is surmountable or ignorable.

          We've been sending people to Antarctica for a while. Many of the early explorers died. Tourists have died in Antarctica. Some space explorers will die because of shoddy equipment. We may even send people places with equipment known to be substandard. I wouldn't go but there seem to be plenty who would.

        • by AJWM ( 19027 )

          Hi Chuck, long time no see.

          Mars does not have a geomagnetic sphere to protect it from solar outbursts. People will die if they are on the surface when one of those things happens

          People will die if they're out on the surface of Earth unprotected, for large parts of Earth (deserts, arctic, oceans, etc). We manage ... and sometimes we lose a few.

          . It is going to take a good bit of learning, though.

          Of course it's going to take a good bit of learning. Fortunately that's something we humans tend to be good at

      • You figure all of NASA, the european space agency, the Russians, the Chinese... the various private undertakings, every satellite manufacturer and service provider in the world... are all deluded, do you? You think the ISS is an illusion, and that there are no raw materials to be had outside of deep gravity wells? You think the ISS can't be bettered? You think we can't solve the remaining problems just because they're "hard"? You think we won't? I suppose you think the landing of a man on the surface of the

        • You figure all of NASA, the european space agency, the Russians, the Chinese... the various private undertakings, every satellite manufacturer and service provider in the world... are all deluded, do you?

          No, just the private sector ones. Or more specifically, the private sector ones that aren't out-and-out scams.

        • by gl4ss ( 559668 )

          your post in the context of mars one describes just exactly the kind of space nutter that was being described, so... great job at proving his point. Tying the profitable and for reason and realistic government space projects to the subject matter of Mars One just shows how much in the nut well you are. the project doesn't have infinite time, except in the sense that they don't except to give any results before blowing through the money(transferring into the pockets of the personnel, as no actual expenses ap

      • Wow, all you needed was the trope that the moon landings were faked by the US government to bring down the Soviet empire, and that's the entire parent/teacher conference from Interstellar. Minus the engineer's retort, of course.

      • Sadly, Space Nutters are adept at duping themselves. They think because they're intelligent in one domain, typically software, that their intelligence transfers to all scientific and engineering disciplines.

        This part is true.

        Experts tend to believe their expertise extends to all fields. (See, "Neil deGrasse Tyson")

    • Comparing the prospects of a private company sending people to mars with the claim that "...at best, an amazingly hubristic fantasy: an absolute faith in the free market, in technology, in the media, in money, to be able to somehow, magically, do what thousands of highly qualified people in government agencies have so far not yet been able to do over decades of diligently trying, making slow headway through individually hard-won breakthroughs, working in relative anonymity pursuing their life’s work."

    • The minute they said there was an application fee it should have been obvious.

      That, plus the tiny size of the team, the handwaving away of all technical problems to subcontractors, and the bizarre funding ideas, should have warned people off long ago. Sadly the regular newsmedia, in their admirable efforts to publish fun and interesting science storise, were duped.

      I doubt it's a "Scam"
      If it were, they could have been a lot cleverer and gotten a lot more money.
      I do think it's a bunch of well meaning people that will at some point, if they haven't already, realize they just got a shit-ton of money from a lot of people in a lot of countries that have a lot of laws... and they might not be able to pull this off... and it's inevitable that one of those laws in one of those countries will involve caning, hard labor or sex with large bikers... at which point they will vanis

    • Do you think that if they get the funding they need they don't intend to follow through? If not, then in what sense is it a "scam"? That is not what the word "scam" means.
  • by Beck_Neard ( 3612467 ) on Monday November 10, 2014 @08:19PM (#48356005)

    It really is an example of the effects of authority and herd behavior. They first approached a number of prominent science/tech figures and asked them to endorse it. Turns out, if you approach a large enough number of people with a crazy idea, a few will by chance support it, especially if you keep the details hidden. Then this was enough for the avalanche of followers and news reports to start.

    Do we have the technology to get to Mars? Depends on who you ask. NASA already has the plans on the drawing board. They just don't have the money. And that's the sticking point. There is absolutely no way you are going to get the $100 billion required for a Mars mission by producing a freaking reality show.

    • There is absolutely no way you are going to get the $100 billion required for a Mars mission by producing a freaking reality show.

      And even $100billion sounds optimistic.

      • Hey Kardashians vs. Martians (Kim, Kanye, Chloe and the whole gang vs. the costumed winners of American ninja warrior) might pull in that kind of advertising revenue)

    • Just some long-term thinking here: A point to remember is that the first trip would be the most expensive. If the first trip to Mars costs $100 billion, the second one would cost only a fraction of that, as then all the technologies would have been developed, and we'd have the requisite body of expertise.
  • by Crashmarik ( 635988 ) on Monday November 10, 2014 @08:21PM (#48356015)

    Somewhere on the next continent.

    It would be nice to know that mammals can successfully reproduce in 1/3 G with healthy offspring.
    And other little things like that.

    Most of the promoters of space colonization always seem to be either ignorant or deliberately overlooking all the problems there were in colonizing the new world and Africa, post renaissance, and the sheer number of failed colonies. That was just on this planet. It's pretty difficult to make the case Mars will be easier.

    • I assume that it'll be LOADS more difficult. Even the most optimistic well-thought science fiction work on the subject, Robinson's Mars Trilogy, opens with a description of the advance equipment sent at considerable expense to provide colonists with as basic things as water and air. And Robinson, for literary license, makes things far easier than they really will be to make the story fit within one lifespan.
      • by Opyros ( 1153335 )
        And, of course, he postulates a way of extending the human lifespan to multiple centuries.
        • by TWX ( 665546 ) on Monday November 10, 2014 @08:59PM (#48356229)
          Exactly. I don't think that humans will go to Mars to remain there until robotic missions have essentially built and distilled and mined and refined enough to make the human settlement functional to the point that it runs without the human presence stressing the systems. It's going to be like remotely building a combination aircraft carrier and submarine on another planet with a communications loop of 20 minutes.
  • How does a space suit on Mars work? Show me how it is pressurized, and how it is cooled

    Why would you need spacesuit cooling on Mars? It's not space, where the side facing the sun heats up and it is difficult to radiate heat, there is an atmosphere that is quite chilly. I would think that you would need spacesuit heating on Mars, not cooling. However, I'm not a rocket scientist, is there anyone who has definitive knowledge on this topic?

    • by Sowelu ( 713889 )

      Saying that Mars has an atmosphere, while true, is maybe a bit too generous. I could easily believe that it can't cool sufficiently. Besides, wearing big bulky suits here on Earth, even in cold weather, can give you overheating issues, and these ones would have to be very big and very bulky indeed to last for very long.

    • by mbone ( 558574 )

      How does a space suit on Mars work? Show me how it is pressurized, and how it is cooled

      Why would you need spacesuit cooling on Mars? It's not space, where the side facing the sun heats up and it is difficult to radiate heat, there is an atmosphere that is quite chilly. I would think that you would need spacesuit heating on Mars, not cooling. However, I'm not a rocket scientist, is there anyone who has definitive knowledge on this topic?

      At 6 millibar pressure, you are very close to a vacuum spacesuit environment; the atmosphere is not going to cool or heat you significantly*. Of course, the Sun is less intense on Mars, but if you are working and generating heat, I am sure you will need cooling.

      * This is how the surface temperature in the Sun can be 25 C, while 1 meter up it's -25 C. If you were standing there, the heat from the surface would be much more important than the cooling from the atmosphere.

    • Re:Cooled? (Score:4, Informative)

      by Irate Engineer ( 2814313 ) on Monday November 10, 2014 @08:39PM (#48356141)
      Atmospheric temperatures on Mars can range from 20 deg. C to -150 deg. C, depending on where you are standing and the time of day. Since the atmosphere is so thin the relative importance of convection and radiation heat transfer tilts toward radiation being a bigger player. Standing in the sun when the atmosphere is 20 deg C might be uncomfortably warm as you don't just feel the atmospheric temperature, but you also get a radiation component unrelated to the air temperature. If you have ever skied or hiked in the mountains in the winter, on some clear calm sunny days you may be very warm despite the air temperature being quite frigid. Upshot is that a suit would need a general thermal regulation capability (heating and cooling).
      • Yep, sunburn on sub zero days is hilarious.
      • Upshot is that a suit would need a general thermal regulation capability (heating and cooling).

        Making it reflective might well be enough to handle the cooling aspect. Probably would. Side bonus, being easier to see. Down side, requires frequent cleaning. As you dust up, you get hot. The future of all kinds of low-pressure suits is to use a constrictive layer instead of pressurizing. It should be a relatively simple problem to solve. Each suit will need to be custom fitted to an extent not necessary with pressurized suits, however, which are AFAIK already fairly customized.

    • While the Martian surface temperatures are fairly low (~63ÂC) the atmosphere is also incredibly thin. At the surface the atmosphere is about 1/100th the density of the Earth's atmosphere. This means the ability for the atmosphere to convect heat away from a spacesuit is 1/100th that you would expect on Earth.

      The occupant as well as the electronics and other powered elements of the suit all need a way to bleed of waste heat. A small heat sink on the back might work on the Earth but would need to be much

  • That they're going to build a giant version of the salmon cannon.

  • by Spy Handler ( 822350 ) on Monday November 10, 2014 @08:26PM (#48356055) Homepage Journal

    I thought it was just a harmless enthusiast group promoting space travel and stuff.

    If they're actually taking people's money as a fee (rather than a charitable donation) when they have no launcher no lander no habitat no nothing, they're selling snake oil.

    • by silfen ( 3720385 ) on Monday November 10, 2014 @08:51PM (#48356187)

      If they're actually taking people's money as a fee (rather than a charitable donation) when they have no launcher no lander no habitat no nothing, they're selling snake oil.

      They take $5-$75 (depending on how well-off your home country is), and they have tens of thousands of applications. You have to be a total moron to mistake that for anything other than a donation to the project. Phrasing it as an "application" makes it more personal and is a good marketing gimmick.

      • by gl4ss ( 559668 ) on Monday November 10, 2014 @09:40PM (#48356439) Homepage Journal

        200 000 total morons then.
        they should have just have asked for donations, would be ethically easier to defend.

        and that really explains how why they were asking for applicants when they really were asking for donors, to get money. money from morons.

        that really explains all the strangeness of the project: first they needed some cash and this provided them with some cash. not with enough cash to do anything related to the actual stated goal of course but plenty of money to pay for living expenses for couple of people for few years. as a project like that, there's nothing strange about it.

        oh and had they any real plan then they could have found few rich donors to pay the same money. but since they don't have, this is the way they had to go - since rich bigtime donors tend to ask things like "how?".

        • @"they should have just have asked for donations" They have been asking for donations since the start. I really don't see a big deal about charging a nominal processing fee for something that costs them money to process - it also ensures that only people who are really serious will apply, so you don't get flooded with millions of junk applications from Seymour Butts etc.
        • In fact this summarises the whole enterprise: they needed some cash and this provided them with some cash. There is no reason for us to think they ever had any intent beyond taking the money.
  • ... I'm sure any problems Mars One finds will be fixed in the next release.

  • A team of explorers heads to the red planet on an uncertain journey, never to return. A dangerous journey and many surprises await. Coming this summer Mars Uno: No Return. (Oh wait they are making a reality show). Will it be on Fox with the first televised execution?
    • by ihtoit ( 3393327 )

      Capricorn One
      at least one episode of The Outer Limits (I'm thinking the one with Michael Dorn as an astronaut who's been taken over by an alien entity or somesuch. Or was that Masters of Science Fiction? Twilight Zone? Shit, I can't even remember)
      Red Planet
      Escape From Mars
      (my favourite) The Martian Chronicles, adapted from the book of the same name by Ray Bradbury

      Sort of related, there was a movie on TV the other night, called Into Infinity, made in 1975 by Gerry Anderson. Concerned a family a la Lost In Sp

  • true but... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by silfen ( 3720385 )

    I have no illusions about Mars One. But I think it's time to explicitly tell NASA to stop wasting money on manned space travel and stick to launching climate satellites and space telescopes and robotic interplanetary missions, something they have had some success at; even there, they need to become much more efficient.

    • Re:true but... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by farble1670 ( 803356 ) on Monday November 10, 2014 @09:45PM (#48356457)

      even there, they need to become much more efficient.

      more efficient ... than who? who else has autonomously landed a nuclear powered rover the size of a small car on the surface of mars? do you have some evidence to support that this should / could have been done for less (2.5B USD)?

      i searched for "curiosity rover pork" and the first article that came up was from the tea party. there you go.

  • Think about it (if you can):
    Wanting something is enough to make it happen.
    Wisdom of crowds.
    Scientists don't know everything.
    You'll be famous.

    Sounds like the recipe for external validation that every GenY and Millenial are craving.

  • by potus98 ( 741836 ) on Monday November 10, 2014 @09:07PM (#48356263) Journal
    But if there WAS a SpaceMart, I'd totally shop there!
  • by swb ( 14022 ) on Monday November 10, 2014 @09:07PM (#48356267)

    to be able to somehow, magically, do what thousands of highly qualified people in government agencies have so far not yet been able to do over decades of diligently trying, making slow headway through individually hard-won breakthroughs, working in relative anonymity pursuing their life's work

    Personally, I think it's great that there are people dumb/crazy/brave enough to try to accomplish this outside of whatever the ossified system is. I'm sure Linus was told by plenty of people "You can't develop a better operating system like this! We've been sitting in cubicles at Bell Labs for 20 years, slaving over punch cards and 9 track mag tapes toiling in anonymity and you think a bunch of Internet hackers are going to create a viable operating system that can do real work?"

    Maybe this is what bothers all those people, that despite their trying and relative anonymity someone else NOT diligently working in anonymity and utilizing other skills or methods will succeed where they haven't, and this bugs them. Should there be a manned mission to Mars it should be THEIR mission because of their ceaseless faith and devotion to the true methods and ideals of space travel.

    It almost reads like a religous argument from the 16th century -- why should a group of barely literate peasants be allowed to read and interpret the word of God and achieve salvation through their own heretical ideals and methods? It can only be achieved through the devotion to and leadership of the one true church and its singular vision as revealed through its chosen leaders.

    Now, I don't know much about Mars One and it probably is a bullshit deal designed to fleece the naive and they can't get to Disney's "Mission to Mars" let alone fly a mission to Mars. So what? Whining that it's hard and and that someone wants to do it some other way than the "true way" sounds like MORE bullshit designed to protect the chosen ones than any real criticism.

    • by fyngyrz ( 762201 )

      So what? Whining that it's hard and and that someone wants to do it some other way than the "true way" sounds like MORE bullshit designed to protect the chosen ones than any real criticism.

      Spot on.

    • by Jiro ( 131519 )

      First of all, many of the people who worked on Linux had degrees and/or professional experience in directly relevant areas.

      Second, Linux was an unusual case because programming requires relatively little in the way of hardware compared to other pursuits--and certainly compared to going to Mars.

      Third, computer programs don't need to be as tightly integrated as the output of rocket scientists does. Furthermore, because they are not as tightly integrated, the system can limp along with some missing features f

    • by Kjella ( 173770 ) on Monday November 10, 2014 @10:36PM (#48356665) Homepage

      I'm doing a (free) operating system (just a hobby, won't be big and professional like gnu) for 386(486) AT clones.

      vs

      I'm creating a kick-ass OS that'll totally blow minix and gnu/hurd out of the water and I'm offering a lifetime license for only $5-75 for early adopers on Kickstarter

      Mars One has as much substance as a MLM pyramid scheme, lots of hype and glossy marketing which not only siphons away funds that could have gone to serious projects but will likely backfire on everyone else when the bubble bursts. There's a difference between thinking outside the box and not really trying, particularly using other people's money.

    • Personally, I think it's great that there are people dumb/crazy/brave enough to try to accomplish this outside of whatever the ossified system is.

      Sure "dumb/crazy/brave" can be a good thing at times but when you bamboozle hundreds of thousands of people into giving you money for something that is obviously not possible it becomes a scam.

      I'm sure Linus was told by plenty of people "You can't develop a better operating system like this!

      There's the rub. Linus improved on something that had already been done. Unix had already been created. So far no one has sent a person 54 million kilometers to a place with negligible atmosphere, no protection from cosmic rays and asked them to survive. The difference is many orders of magnitude.

      So what? Whining that it's hard and and that someone wants to do it some other way than the "true way" sounds like MORE bullshit designed to protect the chosen ones than any real criticism.

      Calling colonizing Ma

  • by CaptainDork ( 3678879 ) on Monday November 10, 2014 @09:18PM (#48356307)

    We have to get off this planet and, like every other early voyages to any place we've ever been, we have got to experience lots of failures.

    If dude ranchers want to take the first lunge, it's their business.

    • that's fine, but it's not the point. selecting a crew before you have even plans for very nearly ever piece of significant hardware required for the mission is putting the cart about 55 million km before the horse.

    • Even early voyagers has some hope of returning. Mars1 is a one way trip.

  • by slew ( 2918 ) on Monday November 10, 2014 @09:29PM (#48356367)

    Typical non-profit entities have grandiose goals such as eliminating poverty or feed orphans or some other goal that tugs as the hearts (and purse strings) of a dedicated and forgiving audience. They usually have no idea what they are doing and are making it up along the way. Of course they try really hard and maybe they accomplish a few things along away, but of course they never really "solve" the problem. If they do they find something else.**

    Meanwhile, the principal of the organization get to earn a living doing what they enjoy with other folks footing the bill.

    Take it for what it is people. People gotta earn a living somehow...

    **for instance, the March of Dimes was started to stamp out Polio. After the vaccine was developed (none of their funding contributed to the Salk Vaccine, it was spent on palliative care), they had to find something else to do, they simply didn't wind down, which is why you have to start with a really really grandiose goal to make sure it doesn't happen to quickly

  • Given the private sector's safety record with manned space flight, I wonder how many of those 200,000 volunteers have backed out in the past week or so.

  • by ihtoit ( 3393327 ) on Monday November 10, 2014 @09:51PM (#48356479)

    we're not talking about commodity gear here, this is frontier tech as it has been the entire run of the space program so far. They still haven't got EVA gloves right yet (too bulky, means that equipment designed for orbital maintenance has to be given the Duplo treatment - handles twice as large as they would otherwise need to be, etc.), manned capsules are still touch and go, with a what, 1 in 50 chance of a catastrophic failure at any point in the mission? Still not bad odds considering we're talking about the most complex machines ever conceived of by human minds (the shuttle orbiters have over 2.5 million parts and 230 miles of wire - each. Any one of which can fail with potentially fatal consequences). Step one of having a viable programme is reducing the odds of failure while maintaining or improving the safety record. Reducing the odds of failure involves reducing the number of parts which can fail, ie simplifying the design - considering the SOV programme was pretty much experimental by its very nature, I think the kinks are fairly well known by now.

  • we could/should be on Mars **now** but as a NASA/ESA/JAXA combined science/colonization/mining mission....not some reality show!

    TFA is a good article...it's one of the few times I'd read TFA *before* it was on /.

    the author does a good job of telling the truth (MarsONE is a SCAM) while respecting the dreams/dignitiy of the unfortunate souls who have dropped everything to sign up

    what MarsOne tells me is that **people are ready for this**...it's time to go...but there's only one way to do this: FULL ON...no ha

  • I've got my Pan Am Moon First Flight Club membership card!

  • by Caspian ( 99221 ) on Monday November 10, 2014 @10:06PM (#48356523)

    I'm as far from a 'free market religionist' as one can get. I'm a ridiculously left-wing hippie-dippie liberal. To me, this isn't about some sort of mad faith in Adam Smith's Invisible Hand. It's simply a reaction to the fact that our government would rather allocate huge sums of money to things OTHER THAN manned space exploration.

    For instance, the military. And the contractors that support the military.

    NASA's budget has, quite simply, been far too small to support an envelope-pushing manned space flight program for quite some time. Witness how the Shuttle (1970s tech!) was used into the 2010s. NASA's manned spaceflight program stalled some time in the 80s and never really recovered. (It may have been the Challenger tragedy that made funding NASA significantly harder; I don't know. I'm not a politician, nor an economist.)

    Quite simply, the government ISN'T doing it. And it probably won't, for the forseeable future. Who does that leave, with the kind of money to go to space? Corporations.

    It's simple logic. Has nothing to do with 'the corporations are better than the government' or any sort of rhetoric at all. It's just "[X] isn't doing it, so [Y] is gonna try, because it's something some people want."

    • If anyone says Mars colonization is 'unaffordable' remind them that the cost of the Iraq war alone would have covered NASA's budget for another 200 years, or funded at least 100 manned Mars missions.

      That's not to mention all the other wars, and not even getting started on other wasteful programs like the War on Drugs. Space travel is actually damn cheap compared to all the other crap we waste massive amounts of money on.

  • Being deliberate and careful is most always the right way to pursue any complex or risky endeavor, however there are times when saying, "Fuck it. Let's do this," actually works. Christopher Columbus comes to mind. Of course the trip to and existence on Mars is a hell of a lot tougher than what Columbus pulled off. I can't see any way for a permanent outpost on Mars to be accomplished without sending an absolute shitload of automation there first. You'd need a fully-functional living environment with at leas
  • Of course there are frightfully few details, they have no idea how to go about this, and probably have no real plan. I would question whether they EVER plan to do the mission, but even leaving the obvious scam potential out of it, even a temporary mission would require technology and organization at the very limits of current possibility.

          No one is going to mars in the Mars One project, now, or ever.

Nothing will ever be attempted if all possible objections must be first overcome. -- Dr. Johnson

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